How I Borked My Leg

I set the house alarm off at 4:45 Monday morning. It was jarring to say the least. Thing is, the PANIC! button is right below the OFF button on my key fob. So as I was fumbling around in the dark, trying to get out the door to get to CrossFit, I awoke the entire house with a deafening screeching that probably caused ears to bleed for miles. Except for Sean, who, in his deep slumber, barely noticed until I started yelling and freaking out.

The ADT lady chimed in through the speaker, which I was unaware was a 2-way phone type of device: “This is ADT. Passcode?”

“Do I just talk to the panel?”

“Yes! This is ADT! What is your PASSCODE?!”

I gave her the passcode and the code words (or whatever they’re called), and then she nicely said, “Have a great day! Goodbye!”

Thumbs Up to Running

Thanks, ADT!

This was the start of my very bad day. I didn’t look too much into it. I’m pretty good (usually) about letting things like this roll off my back and not affect my attitude for the rest of the day. I really just felt bad that I woke up Sean by yelling at him after I set it off.

The rest of the day was pretty good. I got stuff done at work, enjoyed a nice walk on my lunch break, and then hurried home to get ready for a 6:30 soccer game down in Atlanta (we live in Woodstock now, so it’s a little bit of a drive).

Sean made me a piece of peanut butter toast to munch on the way to the fields, and we got there with about 10 minutes to get all our gear on and warm up. Pretty good timing, even with a little traffic in Woodstock. We had a double header, and our first game was with a team that we’ve played many times before. They’re known to be a little physical, but nothing that’s worth having them kicked off the league.

Saturday Soccer

At halftime we were up 3 to 0. I even managed to score a goal off a ricocheted miss by the goalie. About 5 minutes into the second half, someone booted a ball out of the goal box and a guy from the other team and I both went after it. I had a little bit of an advantage in space, but he was speedier. He came up from behind, and, I guess in an attempt to jump over me, stomped/jumped on the back of my left leg, right near the mid-calf.

And that’s when I heard/felt the snap and dropped to the ground screaming.

Please imagine what it would be like if someone were shot. That’s how dramatic it was. I wasn’t in pain at first. I think I was honestly freaked out about hearing/feeling my own bone/ankle/whatever snap and screaming in anticipation of the horrific pain that I was sure was bound to come…. any time now…

A dull ache set in. It didn’t feel good, but I was more worried about when the ambulance would get there because I was sure the horrific pain would start at any second. A very kind member of our team, who had experience in nursing or being a doctor, kindly sat with me and talked to me gently while people crowded around. The asshole ref tried to make jokes, and the guy who crunched me apologized and then tried to make me feel better by saying this happened to him once… They tried to take off my shoe, but it hurt, and I was really afraid it would twist whatever had snapped the wrong way.

Very Swollen Ankle

This was later, at the hospital. My ankles are very small and bony. Not this pufftastic.

I managed to calm down a lot–going between trying to breathe through my anxiety and just crying while lying on the field. My teammate Stephanie, the nurse, was great, and Sean has sprinted like an Olympian to get me ice and then hold my hand while I acted like a baby. When the ambulance finally arrived, they tried to take off my shoe, soccer sock, shin guards, and other sock. Why did I wear so many pairs of socks? They examined it and said it didn’t look broken, which made me feel 2 things: 1. relief that I’d get to continue playing soccer, 2. embarrassment for throwing a huge screaming fit in the middle of the field.

They felt around and one ambulance man mentioned that he felt something crumble in my leg. Awesomely comforting. They put me on a stretcher, and loaded me in to the ambulance. I had to answer a bunch of questions and be attached to a bunch of machines to check my blood pressure and whatever else. They put in an IV in case I’d need pain meds, and then I threw up in a bag (probably from shock, stress, and my dislike for needles). Goodbye, peanut butter toast. My last vestige of food.

There was no super rush to get to the hospital since I’d calmed down, but was still disoriented. I felt like they were moving and asking questions at lightening speed. I really just wanted them to drive to the ER so I could find out what the deal was. They asked me what my pain level was on a scale of 1 to 10. If 10 was being hit by a car, I was nowhere near that, so I said 5 or 6. The ambulance guys said they really appreciated my logic in the situation as most people are at 0 or 10.

Splinted up

Splinted up

When we got there, they stretchered me out into the ER where I was checked out by a nurse and the doctor really quick. No one thought it was broken, but they still refused to give me water or food. So I sat for a really long time until they came to take me for x-rays. They got 3 shots, and I had to contort myself into weird and painful positions to get them. I asked the x-ray technician what he thought, and he said, “Doesn’t look like anything’s broken from here.”

Then there was more sitting–all the while I was still sweaty & smelly from the soccer game. My ankle really started to swell between the time I got there and the time I was taken to get x-rays. Sean said it looked like a tennis ball in my ankle. (See the picture above).

We were both tired (since we’re usually in bed around 9) and starving since we hadn’t had dinner (and I’d lost my pre-soccer snack in the ambulance). I was ready to go, especially since everyone up until that point–the ambulance guys, 2 ER nurses, the x-ray technician, and even the ER doc–didn’t think it was broken.

Then the doctor came in and showed me the x-rays and told me it was definitely broken. Damnit! I cried, of course, because I was hungry and tired and ain’t nobody got time for a broken leg. They sent in a lady to splint me up. She was hilarious. I’d still not had any pain meds, and she was worried I’d be hurting during the splinting process without them. She told me I had big, muscley calves and that I was a trooper for not wanting pain drugs. I wasn’t in terrible pain, so I felt like telling her I wasn’t really a trooper. I just didn’t want to dry heave all over the ER for hours.

Splint Fashion

Splint fashion at it’s finest.

After all that, I signed my discharge paperwork and was wheeled out of the ER. We were starving, so we stopped at the only place we knew would be open–Waffle House. I looked rough–mascara from working all day smeared down my face (from crying), hospital bracelet still on, IV poke area all bandaged up, freshly splinted leg, tired and clumsy on crutches, etc. The Waffle House ladies were super nice, holding all the doors for me and let me put my foot up on a chair. They gave us extra toast and gave Sean extra bacon.

We finally made it home around 12:30 or 1, and I took a haphazard bath with a trash bag tied around my leg and my leg hanging out of the tub. Pretty sure there’s still conditioner in my hair. I managed to wash my face and brush my teeth and hobble into bed.

Not my best night ever, but I’m trying to stay positive. It’s really hard because running, soccer, exercising, etc. is how I stay sane and I’m going to be without it for a while. A long while. At least I have caring boyfriend and wonderful coworkers. This 3-6 weeks better fly by!

Get Well Soon Flowers

Get well soon flowers from my work peeps. 🙂

For those who have had broken bones, how did you deal?

4 thoughts on “How I Borked My Leg

  1. I broke my 5th metatarsal on my left foot in the summer of 2011. I was in a boot that weighed a ton, and was on crutches. My advice is to follow the doctor’s orders exactly. I started feeling better so I stopped using my crutches then I regressed and had to go back on crutches even longer. So listen to them. Oh, and try to stay ahead of the pain with your pain meds as much as possible. So sorry this happened to you. I caught up on lots of TV shows and did more scrapbooking and other crafts while I was out of commission.

    1. Oh no! I’m trying to follow orders, but it’s so hard to just sit around and the boot is really uncomfortable after a while. Maybe I’ll try wearing a sock underneath? Thanks for the tips!

  2. Oh wow! That looks nasty! My friend recently went into a bad tackle playing football and smashed his ankle. He has had pins inserted to help, but he’s still in a cast. I hope you manage to find another hobby for the time being and you heal well x

    1. Thanks! I’m trying to keep a good attitude about it. I do need to find another hobby. Thanks for the advice. 🙂

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